The intersections between DORA, open research and equity

  • Stephen Curry Imperial College London
Keywords: open research, eor, eorc


The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) is a campaigning initiative to improve the ways that we evaluate research and researchers. It aims particularly to help people understand the problems associated with over-reliance on aggregate metrics like the journal impact factor or H-index in assessment processes. Such metrics have enduring appeal because they appear to offer the simplicity and objectivity of numerical analyses. However, we need to be mindful of the subjective nature of decisions that lead to citation counts – the raw material of many performance metrics – and the biases that perturb them. The challenge now, if we are to move to more robust and equitable forms of evaluation, is to ensure that these are as effective and as efficient as possible. Embracing this challenge will also help to clear the way for more open and impactful science, and for a more inclusive academy.

Author Biography

Stephen Curry, Imperial College London

Professor Stephen Curry holds joint appointments at the College. In October 2017, he was appointed as Assistant Provost for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion to direct the College’s strategy in this important area for staff and students.

Prof. Curry is also a member of the Department of Life Sciences (DoLS), where he has worked as a structural biologist on a variety of problems related to protein-drug interactions and the replication of RNA viruses such as foot-and-mouth disease virus and human norovirus (the winter vomiting bug). His group has made major contributions to our understanding of drug interactions with human serum albumin and of a range of host-virus protein interactions that are crucial to initiate translation of viral RNA into new virus proteins in infected cells.

Though he is now winding down his structural biology research, Prof. Curry remains an active teacher in DoLS, contributing to a range of undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes in Biochemistry. From 2011-15 he served as Director of Undergraduate Studies in DoLS. 

Prof Curry’s research and teaching have long been combined with strong interests the wider role of science in society. He is active in public engagement, having made and presented a number of science videos. He has keen interests in science policy, particularly in R&D funding, in research evaluation (and the use and mis-use of metrics), and in scholarly publication. He is Chair of the Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA). He has written extensively about science and the scientific life in the Guardian and on his Reciprocal Space blog, and can be found on Twitter as @Stephen_Curry.